Most Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Canada’s Northwest Territories may agree on the devolution agreement but they don’t agree on how resource royalties resulting from that agreement will be spent.
After devolution, the territory will receive approximately $65 million a year in resource royalties.
On Thursday, MLAs debated a motion calling for it to be split four ways and spent on infrastructure, debt repayment, the heritage fund and the last 25 per cent on one-time expenses.
Range Lake MLA Daryl Dolynny said there should be guidelines on where the new revenues will go.
“What are we going to do with this money moving forward, Mr Speaker? I think what a lot of members fear is that could turn into a slush fund for our cabinet colleagues to identify their priorities,” he said.
Finance minister Michael Miltenberger called the motion somewhat premature and said he will continue consulting about how the territory’s money should be spent
The motion passed with six regular MLAs voting in support.
Inuvik Boot Lake MLA Alfred Moses and Mackenzie Delta MLA Sonny Blake opposed it, and the seven cabinet members abstained.
The legislative assembly has now adjourned until October.